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Section: 2.458                                    

Effective Date: Aug. 16, 2010

Amended: April 28, 2016

2.458 Towing and Impounding Vehicles

A. Any vehicle/s coming into the possession of the UBPD and subsequently towed are to be done so consistent with current law.

B. The policy of the agency regarding the towing of vehicles is to protect the University of Baltimore's community interests against fraud, deception, and similar abuses, and eliminate traffic hazards, congestion and ensure free access to all available parking on properties owned or controlled by the University.

2.458.02 Illegally Parked Vehicles

A. The University of Baltimore has contracted with a tow company named "The Auto Barn" to tow vehicles as a result of a vehicle coming into our possession (i.e. arrest of driver) or vehicles abandoned on our property. No other private tow company shall be permitted to tow vehicles for UBPD personnel

B. The Baltimore Police Department has jurisdiction and shall arrange for the towing of vehicles as a result of the following:

C. Vehicles disabled as a result of an accident

a. Recovered stolen vehicles

b. Vehicles seized as evidence

c. Abandoned on a city street

Note: UBPD will only tow abandoned vehicles with the approval of a supervisor. BPD  Communications will be notified.

d. The use of any departmental vehicle to push or tow another vehicle is strictly PROHIBITED, except in a clear and articulable emergency.

e. If a vehicle needs to be towed as the result of a traffic stop, ALL applicable procedures shall be adhered to, specifically those procedures outlined in 2.200 Traffic.

2.458.04 Arrestee Vehicles

A. Vehicles towed when the owner/operator is arrested, the UPO shall:

  1. Release the vehicle to a licensed driver designated by the arrestee, provided that person is at the scene, possesses full and complete ability to safely operate a vehicle (i.e. sober) and will assume full responsibility for the vehicle and all property left therein, only when the vehicle is not subject to seizure ;
  2. Advise the arrestee (alcohol violations excluded) that they may park and secure the vehicle provided they do so in compliance with existing parking regulations (be mindful of parking time restrictions) and assume full responsibility for the vehicle and all property left therein.  BOTH 1 AND 2 ABOVE SHALL BE CLEARLY STATED IN THE INCIDENT REPORT. 
  3. If neither option is taken by the arrestee, officers shall have the vehicle towed by The Auto Barn;
  4. Provide the Police Communications Center with the location, make, registration number of the vehicle in question, and whether there is a need for special equipment (e.g., dolly or heavy duty tow);
  5. Inventory all personal and detachable property not removed from the vehicle by the owner/operator immediately after a tow vehicle is requested. An inventory is not conducted for the purpose of searching for contraband, but to secure the contents of the  vehicle;
  6. Remove all property left in the trunk if the trunk key is available. Do not remove the spare tire, however, record its presence on the "Tow Slip";
  7. Itemize all property removed from the vehicle on the Incident Report and process according to established departmental procedure;
  8. Advise Police Communications Center if the tow vehicle does not arrive within 30 minutes of being dispatched;
  9. Ensure an Incident Report is completed with all information necessary and submit according to established procedure;
  10. In addition to the Incident Report, complete a "Tow Slip";
  11. On the Tow Slip, indicate any damage to the vehicle prior to towing and have the tow vehicle operator record the amount of the tow charge and sign in the spaces provided; and
  12. The tow vehicle operator shall be given the white copy, provide the yellow copy of the "Tow Slip" to the arrestee (if applicable), and submit the pink copy with the Incident Report.

2.458.06 Abandoned Vehicles

A. Vehicles towed as a result of being abandoned as defined in the Transportation Article, Sections 25-201 and 25-208 (see Annex A), the UPO shall:

  1. Respond and investigate the circumstances surrounding the "abandoned" vehicle call for service. UBPD OFFICERS SHALL ONLY INVESTIGATE AND INITIATE ACTION ON ABANDON;
  2. VEHICLE CALLS THAT IMPACT UNIVERSITY GARAGES AND PARKING LOTS AND THAT ARE OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE, the UPO shall mark (chalk) the tires/vehicle;
  3. Complete an Incident Report including the vehicle’s registration plate number (if any), year, make, model, and VIN. Provide location of the parking lot/garage where the vehicle has been abandoned, Identify the registered owner and obtain the owner’s most recent address;
  4. On the first line in the narrative section of the Incident Report, write in large letters "ABANDON VEHICLE";
  5. When advised by a UBPD supervisor, have the abandoned vehicle towed per 2.458.04, A, # 4 - 12 of this Directive;
  6. Complete a supplement to the original report, and a "Tow Slip";
  7. On the Tow Slip, indicate any damage to the vehicle prior to towing and have the tow vehicle operator record the amount of the tow charge and sign in the spaces provided; and
  8. Provide the white copy of the "Tow Slip" to the tow vehicle operator and submit two copies (yellow and pink) with the Incident Report. 

2.458.08 Police Communications

A. The Police Communications Officer (PCO) shall:

  1. When advised of the need for a tow vehicle, telephonically notify The Auto Barn at 410-362-0117, 24/7;
  2. Provide the tow company with the reason for towing, location, make and registration number of the vehicle, and if there is a need for any special equipment. If the abandoned vehicle is in a GARAGE, that information MUST be specifically given to The Auto Barn;
  3. Ascertain the medallion number of the tow vehicle responding and advise the UPO of the medallion number and the time the tow company was notified;
  4. If tow company has not arrived within the prescribed time (30 minutes), contact the company and ascertain the cause of the delay. Consideration will be given to abnormal traffic conditions resulting from adverse weather conditions, heavy traffic or other emergencies; and
  5. Notify the Baltimore Police Department at 410.396.2284 of the following information:

a. Complete description of vehicle to include the VIN

b. Date and time vehicle was towed

c. The reason the vehicle was towed

d. The location where the vehicle was towed from and where the vehicle was towed to.

2.458.10 Police Officer

1. Police officers will draft a certified letter – return receipt requested to the owner of the vehicle in question. The owner information shall be obtained from the Incident Report submitted by the investigating UPO. 

2. The contents of the letter shall be compliant with the law, and specifically state:

a. Vehicle will be taken into custody;

b. Description of the vehicle to include VIN;

c. Location of the facility (Auto Barn) where the vehicle will be towed;

3. Owner has 10 days from receipt of the notice to move the vehicle from our property prior to being towed;

4. If not moved within 10 days vehicle will be towed; owner will have an additional 11 days (total of 21 days) from original notice to reclaim the vehicle from Auto Barn;

5. Prior to reclaiming vehicle from Auto Barn, owner MUST pay all towing expenses, storage fees resulting from said towing;

6. Failure to reclaim the vehicle in time allotted, a waiver by the owner then exists relative to title and interest in the vehicle;

7. Failure to reclaim the vehicle in time allotted, the owner gives consent, via said waiver, to the sale of the vehicle at public auction; or

8. Failure to reclaim the vehicle in time allotted, the owner gives consent, via said waiver, to the retention of the vehicle for public purposes as provided in TA 25-207; and

9. Failure to reclaim the vehicle in time allotted; according to TA 25-206.1 and 25-206.2 the owner gives consent, via said waiver, to recover costs of towing, impoundment, etc., and will set in motion denial of any application by the owner to renew the registration of any vehicle as required by 25-206.2 of the Transportation Article;

10. When the intent of the law has been met and the vehicle has not been removed by the allotted time, advise the Operations Captain to arrange for the removal of said vehicle from UB property;

11. The Business Specialist will handle postage and mailing.

Last Published 11/4/16